Israel Update

January 7, 2013

“Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.' But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head." Ps 3: 2-3

PA OFFICIALLY CHANGES NAME TO STATE OF PALESTINE: The Palestinian Authority has officially changed its title to the State of Palestine. PA President Mahmoud Abbas signed his first decree that bears the name of the State of Palestine on Friday displaying the recent upgrade of the Palestinians' status to non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly. Palestinian stamps, signs and letterheads will be changed to reflect this decision. Also on Friday, tens of thousands took to the streets in Gaza in a demonstration marking 48 years since Fatah's founding. It was the first time Fatah supporters had rallied in Gaza since they were ousted from power in 2007 by the now ruling Hamas terrorist organization. PA leaders presently seek to be reconciled to their sister group, Hamas. (J.Post)

NO PALESTINIAN STATE HAS BEEN CREATED: No Palestinian state has been created. The UN does not have the authority to establish states. The Palestinian upgrade resolution is nothing more than another nonbinding General Assembly resolution on the Middle East. The Palestinians are not in a position to declare statehood. Internationally accepted criteria for statehood include unified territory, capability of responsible governance and readiness to abide by international obligations. With Gaza controlled by Hamas/Iran and the West Bank by Fatah, and with Gaza-based terror groups indiscriminately lobbing rockets into Israel's towns, the Palestinians have a long way to go until they fulfill these requirements. The term "Occupied Palestinian Territory" has no basis in fact or law. Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) have never, in any legal document or agreement, been determined as sovereign Palestinian territory. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) required that the conflict be settled by negotiation between the parties. Both entertain claims regarding the areas. The Palestinians base theirs on the 1947 UN partition resolution. The Israelis base theirs on historic, indeed indigenous, rights and a chain of international instruments attesting to their right to a national home. (Ha’aretz)

PA FINANCIAL CRISIS COULD BE OBSTACLE TO JOINING INTERNATIONAL BODIES: The Palestinian Authority's financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and UN institutions following Palestine's recognition as a non-member state in November. Hassan al-Ouri, President Abbas' legal adviser, said the PA is studying initiatives to join multilateral institutions but faces restrictions from joining several bodies due to the high financial cost of membership. After winning a UN status upgrade in November, Palestine could sign the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute, allowing prosecutions against Israel [on trumped up charges ] of genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations in Palestinian territory. (Reuters/Ha’aretz) The threat to initiate charges in the International Criminal Court is legally and politically questionable. The ICC is not a UN body obliged to follow UN recommendations. Its statute permits "states" to activate the court's jurisdiction. But after the upgrade resolution, the Palestinians are no more a state than they were beforehand. As an independent juridical body, the ICC functions in complete objectivity. Palestinian attempts to abuse it by politicization against Israel would prejudice its credibility. Pray ongoing Palestinian efforts to be a thorn in the side of the Jewish state, through any means possible, will be frustrated and brought to an end.

MORSI: NO PEACE WITH DESCENDANTS OF APES AND PIGS: Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are "a waste of time and opportunities" as Arabs and Muslims get nothing out of engagement with "the descendants of apes and pigs," current Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi asserted in September 2010, according to newly translated interviews published this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). In an interview, aired on Lebanon's Al-Quds TV on September 23, 2010, Morsi denounced the Palestinian Authority as a creation of "the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people." Therefore, he stressed, "No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either you accept the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war," Morsi said. "This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs." According to MEMRI, Morsi called on Arabs and Muslims worldwide to "employ all forms of resistance against those criminal Zionists, who attack Palestine and the Palestinians." (J.Post) “My loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me." Ps 59: 10

ASSAD’S SPEECH DEEMED A DECLARATION OF WAR: Syrian President Assad rejected peace talks with his enemies on Sunday in a defiant speech that his opponents described as a renewed declaration of war. Although the speech was billed as the unveiling of a new peace plan, Assad offered no concessions and even appeared to harden many of his positions. He rallied Syrians for “a war to defend the nation” and disparaged the prospect of negotiations. EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said, “We maintain our position that Assad has to step aside and allow for a political transition.” The UN reported this month that 60,000 people have been killed in the civil war, the longest and bloodiest of the conflicts to emerge in two years of revolts in Arab states. (France 24)

ISRAEL TO FORTIFY SYRIAN BORDER: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel would erect a new security fence along its armistice line with Syria in order to protect the Jewish state from "infiltration and terrorism." Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu noted the fence built along the Egyptian border has completely stopped the entry of infiltrators into Israel. "We intend to stretch an identical fence along the Golan Heights," he explained. "We know that on the other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has moved away, and global jihad forces have moved in. We must therefore protect this border from infiltrations and terror, as we have successfully been doing along the Sinai border." The prime minister noted Israel’s Golan area has suffered spillover violence as shells from fighting in Syria have hit communities there. He said Syrian President Assad's speech Sunday is unlikely to calm the situation as the embattled president called on the country to mobilize to fight his enemies. Additionally, he said, "The Syrian regime is very unstable, and the question of chemical weapons there worries us."& Israel is "coordinating our intelligence and readiness with the US and others so that we might be prepared for any scenario that could arise," he assured. Israel has already completed six miles of the new Golan fence, and has about 37 miles to go. The work is expected to be completed in the course of 2013. (Arutz-7)

POSSIBLE OBAMA NOMINATION OF HEGEL FOR DEFENSE POST - MORE TROUBLE FOR ISRAEL: President Barack Obama appeared poised on Friday to pick former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as the next US defense secretary. Sources on Capitol Hill said all signs were pointing to Hagel as Obama's choice to replace current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The choice is setting up a confirmation battle in the Senate over whether Hagel strongly supports key US ally Israel. Hagel has already faced an onslaught over his record on Israel and Iran led by pro-Israel groups and neo-conservatives.  Hagel’s possible nomination has raised the objections of American Jewish leaders who point out the former Nebraska Republican senator, who left the Senate in 2008, has a problematic voting record on issues key to Israel - voting several times against US sanctions on Iran - and making disparaging remarks about the influence of what he called a “Jewish lobby” in Washington. In 2001, Hagel was one of two senators who voted against renewing the Iran-Libya sanctions act. In 2007 he voted against placing the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps on America’s list of terrorist organizations and in 2008 he voted against Iran sanctions. Other problematic positions regarding Israel taken by Hagel include being one of only four senators in October 2000 who would not sign a letter of support for Israel during the second intifada, being only one of 12 senators in 2006 who refused to sign a letter calling on the EU to place Hizbullah on its terrorist lists and signing a 2009 letter - after he retired from the Senate - urging Obama to negotiate with the Hamas terrorist group. (J.Post) Hagel’s hostility did not stop with Israel. It was directed against Jews as well. According to the American Jewish Committee, (AJC), in 1999 Hagel was the only senator who refused to sign a letter to then Russian President Boris Yeltsin urging action against rising antisemitism in that country. Also worthy of note into Helgel’s history is; having left elected office in 2009, he joined the board of the Chevron Corporation, an oil company that has been criticized for outreach to Iran’s oil sector. Pray for strong opposing political voices and veto powers to emerge as US President Obama seemingly surrounds himself with a number of Muslim sympathetic advisers and, by all appearances and records, anti-Israel adherents.

ISRAELI DOCTORS TREAT OBAMA’S GRANDMOTHER…IN AFRICA: US President Barack Obama's step-grandmother received emergency eye surgery from Israeli doctors in Equatorial Guinea last week. Sarah Onyango Obama is the third wife of President Obama's Kenyan father. She lives in a remote Kenyan village. The nearest full-service hospital was the Israeli-operated Shalom Hospital in the Guinean capital of Malabo. The elderly Obama after her treatment was quoted as saying, "All of Africa is talking about  the Israeli hospital and the fact that one doesn't need to fly to Europe to get medical treatment." Israeli humanitarian aid groups and teams of doctors have for years been providing free to the poorer regions of Africa. In particular, free eye surgeries are performed at a number of facilities across the continent. (Israel Today)

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff 


As international speakers and messengers of the Good News through music, Barry and Batya Segal are at the forefront of what God is doing in the present day nation of Israel. With strong ties in both the nations and Jerusalem, the Segals are weaving the deepest roots of our biblical heritage together with the fresh Spirit-filled worship of today to create their rich harmony of Scripture and song.

The Segals have a vast vision for God's purposes in the nations and to the people of Israel. In fact, their longing to help rebuild Israel both spiritually and physically inspired them to pioneer the non-profit charity organization, Vision for Israel and The Joseph Storehouse. This arm of their ministry focuses on assisting the poor and needy, widows and orphans, and reaching out to the new Jewish immigrants coming into the land of Israel. Vision 's most challenging project to date is "The Joseph StorehouseŽ", humanitarian aid center, located in the hills of Jerusalem. The Joseph Storehouse functions as a channel of blessing to all of Israel, Jewish and Arab, through the gathering and distribution of emergency medical supplies, food, clothing, and other basic life necessities. USA office contact info: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743, Charlotte NC 28241, 866-351-0075. The Segal's web site is


Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.    


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